Place Forum - making connections

A person watching the live Q&A session from the first Place Forum event with guest speakers on the computer screen.
Published: 15/09/2023

At Architecture and Design Scotland we work to make the Place Principle an everyday reality – to transform how Scotland’s places are planned, designed, delivered and sustained.

The Place Principle is where people, location and resources combine to create a sense of identity and purpose. It plays a crucial role in addressing the needs and realising the full potential of communities.

It asks that all those responsible for providing services and looking after assets in a place work and plan together, with local communities, to improve the lives of people, support inclusive and sustainable economic growth and create more successful places. 

Making connections 

To do this successfully we must find opportunities to learn from each other and to make connections. This is why we have introduced the Place Forum. 

It grew from our successful series of events Local Authority Urban Design Forum and the Public Sector Client Forum. Very much in line with the Place Principle we wanted to make sure that there was a place where practitioners and decision-makers could meet. 

A platform to share 

Our aim is to bring together practitioners and decision-makers from all sectors and all parts of the country. It provides professionals, community groups and local authorities with a platform to share experience and learning, and capture issues related to place-based working.

The Place Forum promotes a better understanding of the barriers that still exist in working collaboratively and focuses on place-based approaches.

The story so far 

The Place Forum was launched in early 2023. Explore the themes and topics we have explored so far. 
Do you want to learn more about the Place Forum, or perhaps suggest a theme for future events? Do you have case studies and examples that show the benefit of working together and collaborating in our places? We’d love to hear from you. Please get in touch and sign up for our newsletter to hear about our upcoming events. 


Young people walking through a green space.
Image by A Place in Childhood (APiC)

Place Forum 1: The power of place in child poverty and cost of living crisis

Our first Place Forum, held in March 2023, explored the theme of child poverty and cost of living crisis in Scotland and showcased a range of case studies to address the theme in the Scottish context.

The theme is one of the core themes emerging from the 2022-23 Programme for Government: child poverty and the cost of living crisis. How can the key institutions that help shape our places work together to make place-based strategies relevant to tackling these themes?

Find out more
Primrose street Alloa tenants sitting in the courtyard with greenspaces.
Town centre living in Alloa. Photo by Architecture and Design Scotland

Place Forum 2 - towards zero carbon places - making it happen

This Place Forum focused on exploring the different ways we can adapt places to tackle the climate emergency. We invited professionals from the built environment to come together to learn how to create climate-friendly places with new, zero carbon and well adapted existing buildings, playing a key role.

The Place Forum (June 2023) heard from leading practitioners, policy shapers and decision-makers in the built environment on how we can support carbon-conscious places in Scotland.

Find out more
A set of six pencil illustrations of wind turbines in a green landscape
Illustration of Hagshaw by Richard Carman

Place Forum 3: Thinking big, thinking beyond

At our third Place Forum, on 22 November, we invited speakers to reflect on thinking big, thinking beyond when it came to their projects. How do we take a place-based approach ensuring that the investments and changes are people-centred? 

On Wednesday 22 November, we heard presentations on coastal landscapes, a 30-year green space strategy, a ground-breaking approach to low-carbon energy infrastructure and a reflection on Scotland’s places on the world stage.  

Find out more